Scotland: Other topics

Scotland's population size is 5,295,403

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  1. Autism

People with learning disabilities, and people with autism, are not homogeneous groups, and they intersect with all other identity groups across Scotland.

Scotland is an increasingly diverse nation. For example, whilst Scotland is overwhelmingly white, the number of minority ethnic communities has nearly doubled between 2001 and 2011. There has been very little focus on the ways in which people with learning disabilities and people with autism have multiple intersecting identities in relation to ethnicity, sexuality, gender, class, religion, and other identities.

In order to fully understand what it is like to be a person with learning disabilities and/or autism in Scotland, we need to explore the ways in which they intersect with other identities. For more information about equality and rights policies go to our policy pages.

Country of birth

  All People People known to have autism
Total % Total %
United Kingdom 4,926,119 93.0% 30,689 96.8%
Europe: Other 172,243 3.3% 478 1.5%
Africa 46,742 0.9% 127 0.4%
Middle East and Asia 104,530 2.0% 188 0.6%
Americas and Caribbean 33,353 0.6% 176 0.6%
Other countries 12,416 0.2% 54 0.2%
Total 5,295,403 100.0% 31,712 100.0%

Country of birth

People known to have autism

30,689

UK


478

other European countries


127

Africa


188

Middle East and Asia


176

Americas and Caribbean


54

other countries


Country of birth by gender

Ethnicity

  All People People known to have autism
Total % Total %
White: Scottish 4,417,968 83.9% 27,710 87.4%
White: Other 635,702 12.1% 3,027 9.5%
Mixed ethnic groups 19,592 0.4% 223 0.7%
Asian 140,145 2.7% 533 1.7%
African 29,518 0.6% 120 0.4%
Caribbean or Black 6,499 0.1% 41 0.1%
Other ethnic groups 14,267 0.3% 58 0.2%
Total 5,295,403 100.0% 31,712 100.0%

Ethnicity

People known to have autism

27,710

White Scottish


3,027

White other


533

Asian


223

Mixed ethnic groups


120

African


41

Caribbean or Black


58

other ethnic groups


Language spoken at home

  All People People known to have autism
Total % Total %
English only 4,740,547 92.6% 28,843 92.4%
Gaelic 24,974 0.5% 77 0.3%
Scots 55,817 1.1% 388 1.2%
British Sign Language 12,533 0.2% 468 1.5%
Polish 54,186 1.1% 103 0.3%
Other 230,166 4.5% 1,330 4.3%
Total 5,118,223 100.0% 31,209 100.0%

Language used at home

People known to have autism aged 3 and over

28,843

English only


1,330

Other


468

British sign language


388

Scots


103

Polish


77

Gaelic


Gaelic language skills

  All People People known to have autism
Total % Total %
No skills in Gaelic 5,031,167 98.3% 30,748 98.5%
Understands, speaks, reads or writes Gaelic 87,056 1.7% 461 1.5%
Total 5,118,223 100.0% 31,209 100.0%

Gaelic language skills

Religion

  All People People known to have autism
Total % Total %
Church of Scotland 1,717,871 32.4% 7,106 22.4%
Roman Catholic 841,053 15.9% 4,345 13.7%
Other Christian 291,275 5.5% 1,726 5.4%
Buddhist 12,795 0.2% 63 0.2%
Hindu 16,379 0.3% 34 0.1%
Jewish 5,887 0.1% 49 0.2%
Muslim 76,737 1.5% 357 1.1%
Sikh 9,055 0.2% 22 0.1%
Other religion 15,196 0.3% 176 0.6%
No religion 1,941,116 36.7% 15,324 48.3%
Religion not stated 368,039 7.0% 2,510 7.9%
Total 5,295,403 100.0% 31,712 100.0%

Religion

People known to have autism

15,324

no religion


7,106

Church of Scotland


4,345

Roman Catholic


2,510

religion not stated


1,726

Other Christian


357

Muslim


176

other religion


63

Buddhist


49

Jewish


34

Hindu


22

Sikh


Religion by age and gender

Summary information

96.8% of people known to have autism were born in the UK, compared to 93.0% of all people


  • 1.5% of people known to have autism were born in other European countries, compared to 3.3% of all people


  • 84.6% of people known to have autism are white and Scottish, compared with 82.8% of all people


  • 92.4% of people known to have autism speak only English at home, compared with 92.6% of all people


  • 48.3% of people known to have autism have no religion, compared to 36.7% of all people



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